AS the global-warming bubble deflates, another scare is being inflated – species extinction. Naturally the professional alarmists present this as a brand-new threat, caused by man’s industry. However, species extinction, like climate change, is the way of the world.
It was not carbon dioxide that entombed millions of mammoths and other animals in mucky ice from Iceland to Alaska. It was not steam engines that wiped out the dinosaurs and 75 per cent of other species who had dominated the Earth for 180 million years. There were no humans to blame for the Great Permian Extinction, when over 90 per cent of all life on Earth was destroyed – animals, plants, trees, fish, plankton even algae disappeared suddenly.
Sadly, history shows that it is the destiny of most species to be destroyed by periodic natural calamities or competition from other species. Earth’s history is a moving picture, not a still life. No species has an assured place on Earth. Some species can adapt and survive – those unable to adapt are removed from the gene pool.
Earth’s periodic species extinctions are usually associated with widespread glaciation, volcanism, earth movements and solar disruptions. Most geological eras have closed with such calamitous events. Random and more localised species extinctions are caused by rogue comets. But global warming and abundant carbon dioxide have never featured as causes of mass extinctions.
Because of Earth’s long, turbulent history, most species surviving today are not “fragile”. Every one of them, including humans, is descended from a long line of survivors going back to the beginnings of life on Earth.
Man has thrived because of his adaptability, resourcefulness and, more recently, his use of science and technology. We cannot now return to a caveman existence. Without the freedom to explore, develop and use our resources, most humans would not survive.
Species extinction events are not new, are not caused by burning carbon fuels, and will probably occur again. We will need all of our freedom, ingenuity and technology to survive.
Let us not hasten our own species extinction by starving ourselves of food and energy with foolish demonisation of carbon, the building block of all life forms.